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The Origin Story

The Origin Story

I have long been a fan of sports talk radio. I often joke that I may have been among the first people ever to listen to a 24-hour sports station when I listened to the inaugural broadcast day of WFAN in New York. If I'm not mistaken, Jim Lampley was hosting an afternoon talk show he called "Hotel California." I thought it was the most brilliant and mesmerizing idea ever, and I haven’t stopped listening since.

The beauty of sports talk radio, and talk radio in general, has always been pretty easy to explain. Everyone wants to hear someone say exactly what they are thinking themselves, and scream “That’s what I’ve been saying!” It's personal validation, even if no one else knows it. On one of the handful of times that I called in to WIP Philadelphia, I gave my opinion on the West Coast offense, and the wonderful host Glen Macnow called me a “genius.” On the air! I’ll never forget his words: “You, my friend, are a genius...” I was in my car, alone, giddy.

Over time, some of that innocence of talk radio, even sports talk radio, has been lost. The genre has become the realm of insiders, true reporters, quests for national syndication, and branch outlets for major media. Hosts have become more and more "in the know." Content is much more directed toward specific agendas. There is less and less simple, open discussion. Granted, the programming is a lot more sophisticated and overall more entertaining in the larger sense, but the innocent moments of “that’s what I’ve been saying!” are fewer. 

Outside of sports, the dialog of our world is controlled by the now-partisan news outlets. Major media is the place of spin and controlled leaks. Objective news is gone. Platforms are used to further a purpose rather than to simply report, or to inspire discussion. Everyone with an opinion claims to be an expert, and everyone who is an expert thinks that because they are on TV or they write a blog that their opinion should somehow be exalted. Access to influence has always been controlled by the influential, but in the past the objective news media didn't care, and the subjective news media was more clearly defined. The lines have blurred, and we are much worse off for it.

 

Who am I and what am I doing here?

Fair question.

I'm a father of three. I spend a lot of my time in hockey rinks and driving various places with my girls and their friends in my Toyota Sienna, listening to sports radio or whatever movie is on in the back seat, thinking and talking. I watch TV, I dabble in the kitchen, I ruminate about stuff when I can't or won't sleep. 

I do have a full time professional career, but that isn't the subject of this website. What fun would that be? This also isn't going to be a website about all the awesome adventures my kids and I have in my minivan, or how its cool and manly to drive one, or a public chronicle of my family's life. Those are all good things, but that's not why I'm here. 

MinivanDad.net is, frankly, a gesture of mercy to my friends and family. I have been accused of babbling on and on about things I see or hear, launching into rants on unsuspecting friends, and generally becoming too animated over things that I think. In other words, I’m a commentator-at-large, except that by at-large I mean my wife, my mother-in-law, my parents who have always mistakenly thought I was brilliant, and any of my partners or friends unfortunate enough to bring up something that's been on my mind. 

Aside from that, the real reason that I started MinivanDad.net is to observe and write. My purpose here is not to pose as an expert, although I will try to bring some level of knowledge to the discussion on the few occasions when I have some. I would simply like to put my 2 cents out there without any spin or specific agenda or insider information (although feel free to contact me with some if you have any!) 

Sometimes I see things a little differently. Example-- I've written a full-length golf instruction book, titled How to Play Golf - Six Times a Year, that incorporates instructions for making a chocolate souffle. Seriously. Other times I'm sure I see things exactly as everyone else does, but I feel like writing about it anyway.

I have no concrete rules here. If I have a good meal or make something cool for dessert, I'll write about it. If I see a good movie, or one that sucks, I'll write a review. If I'm watching a game on TV and something interesting pops in my head, I'll write that. If I write a story (not likely but hey, you never know) I'll post it. Sometimes I'll be brief, sometimes I'll be a little long-winded. The idea is to write, try to do it well, and put it here for people to read. 

Hopefully, some people will think "That's what I've been saying!", and others will think "This guy's nuts!" Either way, it's fine with me.

-MinivanDad